National Youth Commission (NYC) chair and singer Aiza Seguerra slammed Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III over the lawmaker’s opposition to the Department of Health’s (DOH) planned distribution of condoms in schools.
In a Facebook post, Seguerra called out Sotto, citing the increased incidence of HIV/AIDS cases and teenage pregnancy among the youth.
“Mabilis na pagtaas ng HIV/AIDS lalo na sa kabataan, laganap na teenage pregnancy at patuloy na pagtaas ng populasyon ang nagiging sanhi kung kaya't marami sa ating mga kababayan ang naghihirap at hindi nakaka access ng dekalidad na serbisyo ng gobyerno," Seguerra said.
"Hindi po ito haka-haka, Mr. Senator. These are facts. Based on science and research,” she added.
Seguerra dismissed Sotto’s argument that the DOH could not impose on the conservative culture of Filipinos.
“We have an epidemic here, a youth epidemic. It is precisely because of this ‘sentiment of a conservative culture’ kaya lalong pataas ng pataas ang HIV. Dahil sa conservative culture na ito, the Filipino people were denied of RH services for the longest time," Seguerra said.
"Damage has been brought upon our people by this conservative culture because it makes us decide based on beliefs at hindi hard evidence. Would you rather people keep dying of HIV/AIDS as long as hindi na ooffend ang sensibilities ninyo? Now, sino ang nag iimpose ng beliefs sa nakararami?” she added.
Seguerra broke into showbiz as a child performer in the 1980s after figuring prominently in the Little Miss Philippines pageant of the noontime show Eat Bulaga.
The longest running show is bannered by Senator Sotto, along with his brother Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon.
Asked if he was offended by Seguerra’s remarks, Sotto said: “Hindi naman."
"Baka nakalimutan na nya kung saan siya galing siguro. Mas nanaig sa kanya yun pagka bagitong politiko,” Sotto said.
Sotto said “MSM” or men having with men still lead in the incidence of HIV/AIDS among the youth.
“Besides, for their information, the HIV virus is smaller than the pores of condoms which can only prevent pregnancy. Scientifically proven,” Sotto said.
He said he’d rather believe a former secretary of the DOH than “fledgling politicians.”
Sotto earlier said former DOH secretary Janette Garin, who authored the RH bill in Congress, told him that condom distribution in schools was not practiced anywhere in the world.